17 May 2013

...Classroom Climate

Bill Rogers describes different 'phases' in the development of a positive classroom climate. In this post I summarise aspects of each phase, and provide a checklist of practical considerations to help teachers build a positive, sustainable learning environment.



Establishment

Primarily preventative development of rules and routines designed to ensure good use of learning time. Unnecessary disruption is anticipated, and minimised through careful planning. Pupils are made aware of their rights and responsibilities, and how these relate to their safety and learning.

Establishment checklist:
- Agree classroom rules
- Share responsibilities
- Plan management of transitions

Maintenance & Consolidation

Encouraging established routines. Teachers provide pupils with feedback to help embed expected classroom behaviours. Continual consideration given to pupils' different needs and abilities.

Maintenance & consolidation checklist:
- Monitor and assert agreed rules
- Provide positive examples
- Consider individuals' learning needs

Cohesion

Marked by strong relational ties. Teachers make good use of their working knowledge of the class and its dynamics. Pupils empowered through managing various aspects of their classroom and of their own learning behaviour. Effective co-operation and collaboration is embedded and regularly evident in the classroom.

Cohesion checklist:
- Pupils able to monitor class rules
- Pupils able to share management of the learning environment
- Pupils able to articulate and employ learning behaviours, with increasing independence

References & further reading
Cowley, S (2010) Getting the buggers to behave. Continuum
Lever, C (2011) Understanding Challenging Behaviour in Inclusive Classrooms. Longman
Rogers, B (2012) You Know the Fair Rule: Strategies for Positive and Effective Behaviour Management and Discipline in Schools (3rd ed.) Pearson

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Regards, DJA